January 25th, 2008 by David E. Williams of the Health business blog
See Diabetes Mine for a first-person account of a Person with Diabetes (PwD) who is also a Pharmaceutical Sales Representative (PSR). Here’s a taste:
As a person with Type 1 insulin-dependent diabetes, I am fiercely independent. I refuse to let my disease control me and strive to control it. I am a “good” diabetic, checking myself an average of 10 times per day. With my career comes the blessing of knowledge exposure and the expectation to own it…
The basis for my job is to bring information to the physician, to be a resource to your doctor. I am also supposed to partner with your doctor’s staff, all in the name of making it better for you as a patient. We bring samples and supplies for the physicians so that they will get the clinical experience, and thereby expertise with our medications in addition to giving the patients a “leg up” when having to start a new medication. While there are many reps out there that seem to monopolize your doctor’s time, we are not all alike. I sympathize with you for what it may in fact appear to be or for that matter actually be somebody who is taking your time up with the doc and making the doctor run late. Just remember: some may do that, but there are others like me that are respectful of you as the patient, the staff and physician, because I know just what it’s like to be you and I respect that. I’m different because I hold myself to a higher standard. I am empowered by my job in pharmaceuticals because the information is with me each and every day. I want each diabetic patient to own their disease with the same determination that I have. I want each of you to be successful in the management of your disease. Bottom line is that I expect a lot from myself as the pharmaceutical rep because I walk in your shoes, and you as the patient should too.
It’s an interesting presumption that a PSR is able to control the amount of time they spend with doctors and disrupt physicians’ schedules. If your doctor’s like that you might want to find someone else! At a bare minimum take it as a cue to make sure you spend the time with the doctor that you need to get your questions answered.